What is ITS anyway??

Today I was at National Harbor for the Women in ITS Breakfast at the ITS America Annual Meeting.  What is ITS you ask?  Well, for those of you who still think that transportation jobs only involve driving buses and repairing subway escalators, ITS is an exciting new career path for you to consider.

Intelligent Transportation Systems This forward leaning technology improves transportation safety and mobility through the integration of advanced communications technologies into the transportation infrastructure and in vehicles. Imagine working on a project to implement:

  • A system in which highway crashes are rare because your car can sense and communicate with another vehicle if it is too close or has slammed on the brakes.
  • A fully-connected environment where you have comprehensive and accurate information on your travel options—from transit travel times, schedules, cost, and real-time locations to parking costs and availability, and even the ability to reserve a space before you leave home.
  • Vehicles of all types that can communicate with traffic signals to eliminate unnecessary stops and help you drive in a more fuel efficient manner.

The Women in ITS breakfast was a place for young women just starting in the ITS field to meet with female executives for networking and informal mentoring.  The breakfast, sponsored by WTS,  is an important platform for transportation leaders from the public and private sectors and academia to share their vision and experience on the growing role and importance of women to promote smart transportation solutions.

Shelley Row, US Department of Transportation

The highlight of the breakfast was the keynote speaker,  Shelley J. Row from US DOT.  Ms. Row is Director of the Department’s Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office (JPO). She is an executive who manages a $110 million annual budget to advance research and deployment of ITS.  Her advice to the young women professionals in attendance:

  • Know What You Want.
  • Write Down Your Goals
  • Radiate Confidence
  • Share Your Vision

Hmmmmm…..Now where have I heard that before?


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